This project was done with children aged 5 years until preschool.
How it started – The project started when educators placed some snow in a tray and the children were asked what might happen to the snow. After leaving the tray outside for about an hour it was observed that it was melting. There were different answers when children were asked where ice comes from. These discussions got children excited about the topic. Soon a disposable cardboard box was brought outside with a block of ice in it.
Colorful blocks of ice – The big block of ice had already generated children’s interest. They wanted to build with blocks of ice. This time smaller milk cartons were chosen by the children to make ice. Children also added water color to the water. The group experimented with a variety of combinations; acrylic paint, water color paint, food coloring and different colors of glitter. There was a lot of excitement every time the carton was opened. Children and educators were fascinated to see how the different colors of paint had made layers of colors on these colorful ice bricks.
Planning constructions with ice bricks – Children were full of ideas on how they wanted to use these ice bricks. Children were given papers and markers to sketch models of what they wanted to build out of their ice cubes. Some of the ideas that children came up with included ice castle, a fire cat, a boat and many more. To encourage children to think further, the educators also asked children questions on how they plan to stick the cubes together while giving shape to their creations. Some of the solutions they could think of were –
“I would get big ice cubes and connect them with salt and water and maybe 3 days and they would stick”
“With sticking glue and hammer with nails. Glue will stick and then we have to let it dry for 2 days. The nails help it all stick together”
Documentary on ice hotel in Sweden – Observing children’s interest in creating three dimensional objects using ice the educators decided to show them a documentary on YouTube about the ice hotel in Sweden. This hotel was 2000km north of the arctic circle in Sweden, the Swedish winter is long, dark and cold and it provides the best conditions to build an ice hotel. Work on this ice hotel began in Autumn 2016 and by Summer 2017 it would melt. The children seemed very interested in the documentary.
Interesting questions followed the documentary some comments children made were –
“It would be super cold in there, you would need lots of clothes”
“Wow, they put a wooden door in the ice. The ice can hold a door? How is that possible?”
“Maybe you would get wet in there if you got hot, it would start melting a turn to water”
“A pillow of ice will make your head cold. The beds are made of ice!”
Ice balloons – Children wanted to add to their ice sculptors. They did so by making ice-cubes, ice balloons and a frozen hand by putting water in a plastic glove. They were excited to observe while unwrapping the ice balloons that they were not the same color as the balloons. Finally, in the spring, when the weather was warmer the children took small ice blocks to the park and started building their own mini ice sculptures. They focused on constructing a tower of odd shaped ice blocks and found different ways that would allow for the ice sculpture to stay upright without collapsing.